I periodically receive informative newsletters from Dr Sabrina Shah Desai, globally renowned Aesthetic and Reconstructive Oculoplastic Surgeon. The particular newsletter that I’m referring to was about the benefits of hydrafacial for almost all skin condition, oily/ congested, dry, dehydrated, lined, dull, sensitive etc. I had never heard of it before and couldn’t fully grasp how a jack of all skin conditions treatment could be more than mediocre. However since Dr Sabrina is based at London’s Harley Street at the Perfect Eyes Clinic and at that point I was thousands of miles away, I didn’t give it much more thought.
Dr Sabrina Shah Desai
A few months later I found myself in London and needing a skincare boost so I decided to try the hydrafacial, my curiosity hadn’t waned with time. It was more expensive than most of the facials I had experienced and wondered if I couldn’t have just gotten away with my regular facial. Dr Sabrina explained that this treatment revives the skin, it improves the vitality and texture by removing dead, flakey skin, pollution, product build-up, and all the dirt and sebum that may have accumulated over time despite a thorough homecare beauty regime. She elaborated that after all these impurities are extracted (it’s not like the painful exaction process during a traditional facial), a lot of good things are then added to the skin like hyuralonic acid which deeply hydrates and plumbs up the skin, antioxidants and peptides, powerful anti-ageing ingredients which stimulate the production of collagen. What’s also important to those of us who have a back to back schedule, there is no downtime. I was on holiday and had a packed itinerary of friends to meet and things to do!
Now with all these reassurances, I start the process. The first part is the cleansing and exfoliation done with a kind of deplaning tool which opens the pores and rids the skin of everything unnecessary closer to the surface. It’s all done with high tech equipment and it never feels uncomfortable or unpleasant, only a little different. Once the skin is cleansed and exfoliated then amild acid peel combined with willow bark extract and anti-inflammatory Tasmanian black pepper is applied to the skin, you only feel a bit of a tingling sensation. This works still deeper to purge the pores, loosening up any further deep-seated impurities. The last part is actually the most satisfying, it’s the extraction. It’s like a suction tool going over your face little by little, with no pain and no pinching. Simultaneously the exact opposite process was happening, the infusing of an intensive concoction of active anti ageing ingredients into the skin. If one has specific concerns the treatment is customizable to tackle such problems as pigmentation and growth factors can be added to lighten deep lines. Additionally, an LED blue light can be incorporated to reduce acne scarring or the red light can be used for an additional collagen boost.
Perfect Eyes Clinic at Harley London
At the end of the treatment, my therapist asked if I’d like to see what came out of my pores. When I looked into the clear container filled with water, attached to the machine, I was in total disbelief. The water had turned cloudy and there were actually small bits of things floating in the container which I am told was the likes of hardened sebum and flakes of dead skin. I kept staring at the container, I just couldn’t believe that the murkiness of the water was only a result of all that was previously lodged deep in the pores of my skin. However, the transformation in 30 minutes was incredible. My skin looked healthy shiny (as opposed to oily shiny!), bright and pore less, in popular terminology seriously glowing! It felt so soft, hydrated and looked fresh. I had to keep reminding myself to keep my hands off my face. Normally after my regular facial my skin takes a little time to settle down but in this case, it wasn’t irritated or blotchy.
For the next few days, I just didn’t feel like wearing make-up because I was just so confident of being barefaced (with SPF of course) plus the vivid image of the dirty water post extraction kept coming back to haunt me. I was advised not to use anything exfoliating or any retinol products for the next couple of days. I have to say the results lasted for a good few weeks. Dr Sabrina did recommend a few treatments back to back, 2-3 weeks apart then one can space them out just for maintenance as needed. If you’re looking for a relaxing facial, this probably isn’t what you’d opt for but if you’re looking for a serious results driven outcome, you will definitely be able to see where your money went.
For those of you who’d like to try the treatment a bit closer to home, the Ageless Clinic run by Dr. Harshna Bijalani in Mumbai does the hydrafacial and so does Aanya Clinic by Simal Soin in New Delhi.